Presentation Seminar – Blog #3

  1. Describe the five major stakeholders for your project and their motivations

Stake holders for the Mushroom Project (which definitely needs a cooler name) include: Khanjan Mheta our adviser, the team of students including myself working on the project, possible MPS owners in Sierra Leone, The World Hope organization who are our partners on the ground, and project founders namely Lehigh University. The motivations of the stake holders differ depending on which side of the  project they are on. Khanjan Mheta and the team of students are motivated by the fact that we own the project and have goals in mind that we want our project accomplish to help people, and also impress our other stakeholders. Our funders and supporters like Lehigh University have similar motivations to our team but they exists more in the background. They give us money to accomplish a project that they believe will be successful, and it is our teams job to make it successful and the meet the expectations that made them feel our venture was worth investing in. On the other side of the spectrum the possible MPS owners are simply economically motivated. They want the product that we sell them to grow successfully and be marketable and they support our project because it will be economically beneficial for them.  The World Hope Organization’s motivation comes from the fact that this is what their organization does. They are in Sierra Leone to do humanitarian work.  Though all the stake holders had slightly different reasons they entered the venture we are now all in it together to make sure that it succeeds and accomplishes all its goals. This leads me to the next prompt….

  1. Describe three ways in which you will validate your project and enhance your credibility over the course of the semester.

The main way that I personally want to validate my project is by learning everything there is to know about mushrooms. The project shouldn’t fail because my team and I didn’t do enough research enough to know enough about mushrooms to make them grow. The second step of course would be to produce positive results, that is have a reliable way to turn plugs into mushrooms. Just accomplishing this seemingly tiny step would really give the venture the momentum it needs to take off. Once we have the mushrooms the rest of the venture will seem more like ironing out wrinkles than (not to mix metaphor’s too much) climbing mountains.

Once we have the momentum of being able to produce results it is important to me that we optimize all aspects of our project to make it as successful as possible in Sierra Leone. A worry I have is temperature at materials. I want to get the least expensive and most available materials we can while still allowing mushrooms to easily grow in the hot environment we will encounter in Sierra Leone.  It’s important to me that whatever solution my team and I find for the mushroom growing problem that we understand it enough to translate it effectively to Sierra Leone and make the process as smooth and seamless as we can.

To this end I think that writing down each step of our process will be very important. Knowing what works and what doesn’t and more importantly WHY will be essential to teaching others in Sierra Leone about our processes and why we grow mushrooms the way that we do. If we can educate others on our work they will not only be able to mimic what we do and have success but I would imagine that while we know more about mushrooms those we will be working with will know more about Sierra Leone and if we can combine these two fields of expertise we should have a very successful venture; and that is my goal.

On top of helping others I think researching, growing, and writing down our process, will enhance the credibility of our group. We will have to prove to others that we have accomplished something and beyond the physical proof of the mushrooms that I aim to grow I want to be able to instruct others about how to get there. Our end result of marketable mushrooms won’t be through dumb luck, our venture will be documented and precise which will help optimize our results throughout all aspects of the project.

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